Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is set to be extradited to Los Angeles where he faces additional sexual assault charges.
The 69-year-old has been serving a 23-year sentence at the Wende Correctional Facility in upstate New York on convictions of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act.
Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case ordered that Weinstein be extradited to California in July, as he has been indicted on 11 counts of sexual assault involving five women with allegations dating between 2004 and 2013.
The judge said that there was no reason to delay the transfer any longer and denied Weinstein's request to keep him at a state prison near Buffalo, New York.
Weinstein will reportedly be picked up at the facility by Los Angeles authorities at the end of June or the beginning of July.
Weinstein's lawyer, Norman Effman, argued that his client should stay at the Wende Correctional Facility while he is receiving treatment for health issues rather than be relocated. He also suggested that Weinstein be arraigned via video — but that request was rejected.
"What we were trying to do is not avoid the trial, but avoid an unnecessary stay in a jail rather than a prison," Effman said.
"It’s Los Angeles," Erie County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Curtin Gable responded. "It’s not some remote outpost that doesn’t have any sort of medical care."
Judge Case also rejected arguments by Weinstein's team claiming that Los Angeles prosecutors had not appropriately filed paperwork to claim custody. "We are challenging the paperwork because it’s not right. It’s wrong... They just copied the form and changed the date," Effman said.
The paperwork "absolutely met the requirements" of the extradition agreement, Gable said.
According to Weinstein's lawyers, his health issues have gotten worse since he was incarcerated. Gable said that Weinstein rejected a prescribed treatment for an eye condition because he "wasn’t psychologically ready for it" last week and that prison officials had tried to find one "acceptable to the defendant."
According to Weinstein's lawyers, he suffers from anemia, obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes, extensive coronary artery disease, hypertension, chronic lower back pain, sciatica, chronic leg pain and arthritis and eye ailments, which has degraded his vision.
"Every inmate has an absolute right to appropriate treatment when he or she is in custody," Gable noted. "But they don't have a say in when and where they get their treatment, and there’s absolutely nothing in either doctor’s report that says this treatment can’t be done in Los Angeles."
Defense attorney Mark Werksman told Reuters that the team filed a petition to stop Weinstein from being moved "until he can receive the medical care he needs in New York" and "are disappointed by the judge's ruling."
Weinstein faces up to 140 years in prison if convicted in Los Angeles, CNBC reported.
The Miramax co-founder was convicted in February 2020 of a first-degree criminal sexual act against production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and of third-degree rape for attacking aspiring actress Jessica Mann in a hotel room in 2013.
The only named accuser in the Los Angeles case, Lauren Young, claimed that he lured her into his hotel room after a meeting in Beverly Hills in 2013 and allegedly trapped her in a bathroom, grabbed her breast and masturbated before she escaped. Young reportedly testified as a witness in his New York trial as prosecutors called for help to establish a pattern of Weinstein's alleged behavior, BBC noted.